BERTRAM, TX — Monday night, severe weather brought heavy winds to much of Central Texas. The town of Bertram was hit especially hard.
Residents reported hail and heavy winds throughout the night and into Tuesday morning, but they never expected two of the city’s oldest buildings to be damaged beyond repair.
“It was kind of an iconic thing for Bertram because they’ve been here so long. They have withstood everything that’s been thrown at them for 100 years now,” said Mike Dickenson, longtime resident and city councilman.
Two buildings with over 100 years of history crumbled to the ground after strong winds left them barely standing. Dickenson says the old McGill's building was vacant during the storm, but was still filled with so much life.
“It used to be a grocery store, a western store. Everyone bought their clothes here a few years ago here in town," he said.
Right next door, a new favorite also damaged beyond repair.
Dickenson says demolition on the two buildings had to begin immediately due to fear of the buildings falling onto the city’s main road.
“You know it’s the main highway that’s coming through here and we get a lot of traffic as it is, so if you can tell now, it’s just really squeezing everybody by," he said. "They are wanting to get everything down today so we don’t have to worry about that building falling on the highway with cars coming through.”
Bertram Blends and Boutique, the building next door to the McGill’s building, was quickly becoming a crowd favorite, but the overnight severe weather that passed through the area left part of the building in shambles.
“We get lunch here, we get smoothies, and go shopping for gifts. Sometimes I would just come in to say hi. It’s just a sad day for our community. I mean you have 100-year-old buildings just demolished,” said Scherie Bridges.
Bridges and her neighbor, Stephanie Simmons, were regulars at Bertram Blends. Simmons, who sold some of her items in the store, lost some of her inventory.
“Heartbreaking to know that a piece of our community our history is no longer going to be here for our children. I commissioned a lot of my items in the store, so I’m personally losing business, but you know I’ll be okay,” said Simmons.
As they watch the buildings crumble around them, the two are just thankful no one lost their life.
“We’re Bertram strong, and we will remain Bertram strong, will be okay. Bertram will be alright,” Bridges said.
To donate to Bertram Blends and Boutique click here.
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